Monday, January 30, 2017

Jambalaya For Days

I'm calling this "Jambalaya for days" because of the size of the batch and the size of the meal I'm making. For one or two people it would be "for days" but I'm actually feeding three (maybe four) apartments/households with it tonight.

To give you an idea, I'm using:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 whole loop Kielbasa, coined and halved
  • 3 cups of diced cooked ham
  • 5 cups of Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup of Isarma's Jambalaya Spice Mix (see below)
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Smoke flavoring
  • 5 Bay Leaves (one per cup of rice)

Cooking this thing in a power cooker that adds pressure to the cooking process makes this dish not take quite as long as it might otherwise. 5 cups of rice don't cook quite as efficiently as 2 cups would, especially with spices and stuff added in. Besides, the power cooker has a nice, tight-fitting lid to properly steam the rice.

I pre-cooked the chicken in a little bit of bacon grease since the kielbasa sausage and the ham were already cooked. I used the chicken juice/broth as part of the "water" for the rice. Also, the bacon added a little more smoky flavor. Besides, who *doesn't* like bacon?? You can always adjust this to olive oil or something trendier if you like (animal fats aren't as bad as we were once told, as long as you use a *little* of them.)

This came out a little spicy so you can adjust the spices accordingly. Also, make sure you don't eat the bay leaves - they're great for flavor, horrible to swallow. Just don't do it. Me personally, garlic is a food group, so you can always tone it down with a little less garlic, but I'd tone down the cayenne, black pepper, and chili powder LONG before I delete any garlic. Your tastes may vary, however.

Top with shredded Cheddar  Cheese, Ranch Dressing or Sour Cream (or any combination of the three) for a one-pot dinner that wins everyone over. Even our picky eater Rachael.

Isarma's Jambalaya Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon ground Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Celery Salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/3 cup Paprika
  • 1/2 cup Garlic Granules
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Onion
  • 1/8 cup Black Pepper (or white, or mix)
  • 1/8 cup Salt (+/-)
  • 4 teaspoons Gumbo File (ground sassafrass leaves)
  • 3 teaspoons Cumin

Mix well with a wire whisk in a glass bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, store in a tight-sealing container (great use for that recycled glass spaghetti jar you saved,) and use within 1 year.

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